why kale?

I hate how hipster I am about kale. My ego needs people to know not only did I grow up eating kale, but as an adult I’ve loved kale since my first daughter was tiny; about 10+ years. I got my (original) bumper sticker then, too.

The reason I love it is pretty simple, though the list is long, too:

  • absurdly dense nutritional value
  • can be grown year round – no kidding (sweeter when it’s cold)
  • *super* cheap
  • soooo easy to grow
  • amazing range of ways to cook and eat it
  • tastier and easier to cook, more versatile than collards and also more versatile than chard

For me, the bumper sticker means that if everyone ate more kale—especially if more people grew it for their friends, family, and neighbors—the world would be a better place. We’d be healthier; the planet would be healthier; and we’d all save money.

Eat more kale.

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with all this time

In less than two months, I’ve learned a few things about having all this extra time now that both of my daughters are in school five days a week:

  • Everyone I talk to thinks about how much time they have, don’t have, how they could use it better, how best to manage it;
  • Because I allow myself time for tasks that previously fell much lower down on my priorities list, I’m more busy than before both girls were in school;
  • My too-busy is stressful, but it’s at a more mindful pace than when I had at least one kiddo with me most of the time;
  • The chronic health issues I’ve dealt with over the years might have been expressions of the physical and emotional stress that came with trying to make a living while single parenting non-school-age children (tbd);
  • Having time available to contemplate how to best manage my time is a significant improvement in my life;
  • I think about—I’m an introvert in the extreme, so I don’t act on this much—having a personal life beyond the survival level;
  • Self-care is rising on my priorities list.

Anxiety over finances has me considering a new no groceries challenge. With 3-5 school lunches x2 each week it would be a much more significant challenge. Perhaps a modified version…

(Just a “checking in” blog post to stop the darned spammers from thinking this site is inactive!)

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wordless wednesday

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September 24, 2014 · 9:10 am

what I learned in just over two days

In my last post, I described my feelings as I face more “free” time than I’ve had in over a decade.

Today, I’ll share with you what I’ve learned from this new-found freedom:

  • My business has a task list that—now that I have time to look at it closely—seems unending. Personal tasks still have to wait.
  • Advanced food prep will still help keep me sane.
  • Managing time well is now the most important part of my day.
  • Posting to this blog may be a part of my regular routine, even if it’s only interesting to me. :-)
  • How, how, how did I ever get everything done before? There’s still no time to get everything done! (Answer: I didn’t get it all done. I was making myself sick trying, though.)

I still have “too much to do,” but I now have the luxury of taking a bit of time to figure out how I’ll get it (mostly) all done.

I’m still basking in gratitude.

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lost in the possibilities, or, when my daughters went to school

My older daughter is 11; my younger is 5. For the last 11 years I have, for the most part, been at home with one or both of them. This summer, both girls went to two weeks of full day camp. It was the first time in 11 years that I had such an expansive amount of childcare. I was giddy and elated and I painted furniture and went to Goodwill a lot. It was summer. Most of my clients were quiet and there were very few pressing deadlines. I played a bit, though I never lost the sensation of being in a huge hurry — the kiddos will be back any minute! gotta get this done!

Today, they both went to full-day school. As I drove away after dropping them off, I laughed and I cried.

I laughed because I was filled with joy. The school aligns with our values in some of the most vital ways. It will challenge them. And, it’s safe. They feel at home.

I cried because, as the girls’ father said, “It’s a big deal moment. Out of the first nest.”

I also cried with relief. It’s been a difficult journey over the last several years. Their father provides substantial support, far above the legal requirements. But, it’s still been difficult and part of that is because being at home with our daughters has been a priority for us. Time is always scarce; I always feel in a hurry. With so much to do and so little time, I have to go-go-go or I might collapse.

Today, I am caught between collapsing—something I do a bit of each time the girls go to their father’s house—and getting things done. I’m in shock, truly in disbelief, at the amount of time I now have available to me. Not only will I be able to grow my business, but I will be able to… fold the laundry, cook meals, pay bills, complete paperwork, make and keep appointments, go for walks, grocery shop, sleep, and be emotionally and physically available to my daughters when they get home from school.

As my business grows, of course, I will have less personal time. Everything’s relative, though. Going from just two mornings and a day each week to five days a week is the lottery of time, and I’ve won it. For now, I need to learn how to breathe and believe it’s really true.

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